Many of our previous blog posts examine how to maximize your backyard space during the warm months, but what about your indoor space? Although reading a book under a gazebo, enjoying a morning soak in a home spa or laughing with friends you’ve invited over for a barbeque, are all fun ways to spend the summer, there will be days when you want to beat the heat indoors. Does this mean the fun has to end?
At Canadian Home Leisure, we recognize the value a well-planned game room brings your home and want to suggest how to go about realizing yours!
Where Will It Be Located?
Before you start planning out how every inch of your game room will be used, you must first choose a room! Is your basement a free space that can be transformed or maybe you have a spare bedroom or den that can be utilized.
When picking the right space, keep in mind, you’ll likely want your game room away from busier parts of the house (e.g., the kitchen or living room) to help achieve a more relaxed atmosphere for the space.
How Do You Plan to Use the Space?
No two game rooms are exactly the same. You may plan on dedicating your space to poker night with the boys or include other table games like a billiards table or shuffleboard. Maybe your vision for the area goes past table games, to incorporate video games or even a dartboard. Whatever your ideal game room will consist of, it’s crucial you have a clear vision so you can plan accordingly.
Are You Going to Incorporate a Bar?
Having to go up to your kitchen for cold refreshments is a real nuisance. If you have space and the budget allows it, look into incorporating a small bar area into your game room. This section can serve as another section with seating and give all users of the space a place to have drinks and talk.
Life goes pretty fast and if we’re not careful, we can miss it! Making the most of the current moment is so important, which is why we’re helping you catch that moment with great backyard parties! Letting the summer end without spending quality time in the presence of those you care about means missed opportunity. So, use the following practical tips to have fun, engaging summer socials.
Provide Entertainment for the Kids
It’s important to have suitable entertainment for the crowd that you’ll have. This may mean having various activities to capture the attention of different age groups. If your outdoor gathering only consists of adults you’re likely fine, but if there are children in tow, make sure to set up activities for them as well! In warm weather, consider a slip ‘n slide, blowing bubbles or other fun activities to occupy their time. This also gives you adults the opportunity to enjoy the uninterrupted company of other adults.
Ensure There is Adequate Seating
Let’s look at the following hypothetical situation:
You’re planning to invite approximately 20 people to your outdoor party, but your outdoor seating arrangement seats at most 10, which means a lot of standing people.
To accommodate your guests, flexibility is essential. Consider utilizing some of your indoor chairs (e.g., dining or family room chairs or stools). For those not keen on having their indoor furniture taken outside, renting chairs is another great way to outfit your backyard with enough seating for your guests). Folding chairs can be rented for as little as $2 apiece. You may also be able to rent coolers, speakers, tableware and even a larger grill–if you feel yours isn’t enough to grill the amount of food required for the number of guests you’ll have.
Have the Right Lighting for the Occasion
Another factor that goes a long way to creating the perfect atmosphere is lighting. If your party takes place in the afternoon, artificial lighting likely won’t be required; however, as the evening begins to set in, a bit of ambient lighting can be great for the eyes.
In the cooler months, your hot tub is a steamy retreat that you can’t wait to submerge yourself in, but what about the summer? With hot temperatures, it would seem as though the summer season is a write-off for the hot tub; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Use these tips to enjoy your home spa in the hottest months.
Drop the Water Temperature
To achieve an enjoyable hot tub experience in the summer, you’ll want to lower the water temperature. Keeping the water hot on an already warm day, will not only be uncomfortable for you but it drastically increases your chances of overheating, which can lead to more serious problems–like passing out in your home spa. To stay safe and enjoy a relaxing soak, your hot tub water should be lower than your body temperature (which is approximately 37°C).
Protect Your Skin
Another important aspect to consider with summer hot tub use is the sun! Bodies of water attract the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can cause sunburn if unprotected. To enjoy your time in the hot tub and protect yourself, make sure to apply an appropriate amount of sunscreen to exposed skin.
Also, if you don’t already have a good source of shade over your hot tub, this is an effective way to reduce heat exposure and protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Adjust Your Times of Use
In colder seasons, using your hot tub in the middle of the day ca neb quite enjoyable; however, the intense summer heat makes this time much less appealing. Consider adjusting your hot tub time to early in the morning, before the sun comes out, or later at night, once it has set.
Not only will this help protect you from overexposure to the sun, but you’ll be able to appreciate the cooler air temperature as you unwind.
Music is something that we all love! With many different genres, it has the ability to lift us up and bring us down, which is exactly why it’s so important for us to be able to choose the right music for a backyard summer party! Keep these tips in mind to generate a playlist that will help create the optimal party atmosphere for you and your guests!
Know Your Crowd
The type of crowd you’re inviting over should have significant weight in the sound you’re striving to create. Although it’s hard to please everyone; ideally, you want to create a playlist that most people can enjoy. To achieve this, you will need to understand your group’s demographics (e.g., age, gender, lifestyle, etc.).
Check Sound Levels
If your playlist will be comprised of both newer music and older recordings, you may find that older songs offer a softer sound than their more recent counterparts. To ensure an even sound throughout your playlist, you’ll want to “equalize” it. This can be done under volume controls and will give you a consistent, even level throughout.
Go for a Specific Vibe
Different social gatherings call for different vibes. The first thing you’ll want to do is determine what vibe your gathering needs. For example, a more relaxed get-together may be better served with gentle music playing in the background that still promotes an ideal environment for talking amongst your guests. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a dance party, louder, high-energy music is likely a better fit.
Now, if you’re a serious grill master, barbequing in the winter is feasible; but, with the warm weather upon us, barbecuing in this great weather is practically a requirement. Taking your food prep to your outdoor grill comes with so many benefits, such as:
- Reduces your fat consumption. Grilling the meat causes much of the excess fat to drip off the grates, which means you’re consuming a leaner meat.
- Vegetables, especially those with low water content, retain more of their vitamins and minerals when grilled.
- BBQ’s also encourage spending time outdoors. With the food being prepared outdoors, those you’re preparing it for are more likely to come outside and engage in outdoor activities (e.g. throwing a frisbee or kicking a soccer ball).
To help realize the above benefits, we have created this guide to assist you in deciding the best barbeque for your lifestyle!
Look at Your Needs
Understanding your cooking needs is central to choosing your ideal barbecue. To determine these needs, consider the following factors:
- How Many Are You Cooking For?
Do you just plan on barbecuing for yourself or your family or is cooking for larger gatherings in the plan for the new BBQ?
- What Do You Plan on Cooking?
The type of food you plan on cooking also plays into your ideal grill. If you’re cooking an elaborate roast, you may want to consider a barbecue with a rotisserie and if side dishes will commonly grace your BBQ, a side burner may be in order.
- How Much Available Space Do You Have?
For instance, a larger outdoor patio space can potentially accommodate an entire outdoor kitchen, if space is used wisely. On the other hand, freestanding or tabletop models are also available to accommodate smaller space or if you’re looking for greater mobility.
Choose the Fuel Type
At Canadian Home Leisure, we offer you a wide assortment of both gas and charcoal barbecues, so you can enjoy your preferred cooking style. To learn more about the differences between a gas and charcoal grill, check out our blog Charcoal vs Gas Grill: Which One’s Right for You?.
Father’s Day is fast approaching and finding the perfect gift for your dad can be a difficult task. With gift exchanges over the holiday season as well as on birthdays, finding a great gift that’s also unique requires some work. Use these pieces of advice to choose a father’s day gift that won’t be forgotten.
Create a Budget
A budget is important to avoid spending more than you’re comfortable with on your Father’s Day gift. Having a price range helps you to narrow down your gift search, as items that exceed the maximum end of your range are eliminated.
If you’ve found a gift you think your dad would absolutely love but is over your price range, consider partnering with a sibling or your mom to get the purchase. With multiple people chipping in, the cost per person goes down and your dad can enjoy a more expensive gift!
Consider a Need He Has
If your dad loves barbequing, this Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get him utensils to go along with that. This is just one example and may not apply to your father, so you’ll need to do some digging to uncover his personal needs!
Think About How He Spends His Spare Time
Between work and time with the family, many fathers barely get a moment to themselves; however, when they do, enjoying this time to the fullest is essential. So, one way to ensure your gift will be appreciated is consider how your dad likes to spend his free time and get him something in line with that. For instance, if your father loves watching television, purchase his favourite T.V. series. If he’s a gardener, maybe get him a new pair of gardening gloves or a new gardening tool.
At Canadian Home Leisure, our wide selection of product offerings ensures you’ll be able to find something that your father would love. Whether it’s a new billiard table, game room furniture for his man-cave or a home spa to unwind in after a long day at work, we’ll help you find the right gift to show your appreciation for your father!
With the colours returning to nature’s landscape and cool temperatures outside, spring is a particularly great season to enjoy a nice soak in your hot tub and appreciate the splendor of the season. The following are three key aspects of hot tub care, to ensure you’re maintaining the optimal spa environment.
Make Sure to Circulate Your Hot Tub Water
Water circulation is an essential process for healthy spa water as stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Water circulation helps to disrupt the flourishing of bacteria in your hot tub and disperses cleaning agents (like chlorine) throughout your water, to help kill off harmful bacteria. Water circulation also helps keep the temperature of your hot tub up, which is helpful to prevent water from freezing over in the winter months.
Many hot tubs come with a built-in schedule for the frequency of water circulation that either circulates the water 24 hours a day or at regular intervals throughout the day.
Be Consistent with Your Hot Tub Cleaning
Your hot tub should be cleaned approximately every three to four months. More frequent cleanings could be required, depending on how often the spa is used and if all bathers practice proper bathing rules.
It’s also important to keep your hot tub seats clear of debris and scum build-up. This is mostly an issue with outdoor hot tubs, opposed to indoor ones; however, even indoor hot tubs are susceptible to scum on seats from soaps and lotion residue on peoples skin.
Look at Water Chemistry
Proper water chemistry is just as important for your hot tub as it is for the people in it. Water chemistry involves pH, alkalinity and a sanitizer (e.g. chlorine, bromine, salt systems, mineral sanitizers, etc.). Proper water chemistry stops harmful bacteria from accumulating in your spa water and keeps the acidity levels low, which can damage various hot tub components.
Time in a hot tub helps remove stress from a long day, clear mental anxiety and treat muscle pain and soreness. Furthermore, hot tubs also make excellent spaces to unwind and socialize with friends and family. Of course, the size of your home spa can place limits on the number of people you’re able to incorporate, but it’s relaxed environment is great for facilitating connection with others.
So, if you’re looking to capitalize on the social aspect of your hot tub, try implementing these games to foster an environment of fun and laughter with others.
Get Waterproof Games and Playing Cards
Just because you’re in a hot tub doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy classic games. By investing in a floating mat or tray, you can play games like checkers and chess in your hot tub. Also, with waterproof cards, the fun carries over into card games like go fish and UNO!
Not only can you take everyday games into the hot tub, you can also incorporate games made specifically for it! Below, are game suggestions that were created to facilitate fun in your home spa!
Ping Pong Outbreak: Ping pong outbreak is played by adding ping pong balls to your hot tub, while all players must avoid being touched by the balls. Players that are touched by the balls must exit the hot tub.
Cold Shower: Cold shower is definitely a fun game to liven up the atmosphere. For this game, you must fill up a balloon as much as possible without it popping. All players will sit on the edge of the hot tub and pass the balloon around. Each player must hold the balloon over their heads for five seconds before passing it to the next person. Eventually, the balloon will pop over someone’s head and that person will get a cold shower!
Submarine: Submarine requires two plastic cups to play. Start off by placing one cup in the water and filling it with just enough water to keep it upright. Each individual must use the second cup to pour some water into the cup floating in the water. The first person to sink the cup in the hot tub loses.
The above games are just a few examples of ways to have fun with friends and family in your hot tub. And the best part is these games can be played by youth and adults alike!
A backyard is a place with so much potential for outdoor living. It can be a place for peaceful relaxation, quality time with loved ones or entertaining. Use the following advice to make the most of your outdoor space.
Make it a Family Space
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to have kids spending all their time on some sort of technology device. From laptops to tablets, technology dominates our spare time. This can take away from time with family and prevent loved ones from really connecting with each other.
Your backyard can be a great space for your family to spend quality time together. Instead of just sitting and watching a television series, why not enjoy the fresh air and good conversation. A backyard is also a great space to play board games or card games with others as well.
Incorporate Outdoor Music
Incorporating an outdoor sound system is a great way to bring your favourite tunes outside with you; however, it’s not as simple as adding regular speakers outdoors. A key feature of an outdoor audio system is it needs to be waterproof. Another beneficial feature for outdoor audio is wireless technology. This prevents you from having to run wires over your patio, which is an electrical hazard, and also allows for a more convenient option to connect your sound system.
When considering outdoor music, it’s also very important to be conscious of surrounding neighbours. If you live in close proximity to others, make sure to take that into consideration, to ensure you’re not interrupting the peace in the neighbourhood.
Invite Friends and Family Over
Spending time with others is such an important aspect of human health. Being surrounded by those you care about and that care about you in return, reduces stress levels, decreases loneliness and leads to a overall happier existence. Fortunately, a great outdoor space provides the perfect opportunity to connect with others.
Gazebos offer an ideal outdoor oasis for social entertaining, whether you want to house a hot tub under it or have a shelter for your outdoor dining or lounge space, these structures are very versatile in their use. Aesthetically, a gazebo also makes a great focal point for your backyard space and can extend the use of your patio into the winter season as well.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Gazebo
If you’re looking to invest in a gazebo for your backyard space the following are aspects you must consider to choose a structure that complements your vision for you outdoor patio space:
Your gazebo size is highly dependent on the backyard space you have available. Also consider how you wish to use the structure. As mentioned above, gazebos make great shelters for a home hot tub or even for entertaining with family and friends. If you plan on holding large outdoor gatherings, a larger gazebo may serve you better, as it provides more room for people and better accommodates a table and seats for entertaining–this assuming that you have the space for a larger model.
There are numerous gazebo styles available to meet your functional needs and style preferences, at Canadian Home Leisure we offer three unique styles with a variety of selection in each style.
Open Air: Optimal for patio living in the summer as it gives you access to the breeze and still provides ample shelter for a hot tub in the winter months.
Semi-Enclosed: Adds more privacy to the space, which makes it an ideal options for your hot tub!
Fully-Enclosed: The best option to keep off frigid winter winds and provide protection from bugs in the summertime. Fully-enclosed gazebos can be used as pool houses, hot tub rooms or even patio living rooms!
Gazebos generally come in three materials, wood, vinyl or metal. Wood offers a nice finish; however, it will need yearly painting and staining to maintain their nice finish. Both vinyl and metal don’t require the maintenance that wood does, as they aren’t susceptible to warping or rotting.
As the last remnants of winter melt away, the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, many of us are starting to truly feel the arrival of spring. And we’re not the only ones! Nature feels it too and that includes your garden. As spring weather arrives on the scene, plants awake from their winter slumber, ready to soak up the sun. But, is your garden ready the awakening of its inhabitants? Use the tips below to get your garden ready for this spring.
Do Some Cleaning
Before you add in any new plant life, make sure to clean out your garden. This means removing plants that died over the winter, weeds that are beginning to sprout up in the spring and other debris that the winter has left behind.
Add Feed for the Soil
After doing some cleaning, your garden is now ready for feeding. Spreading feed into your garden’s soil is excellent for adding the ideal nutrients for plant growth. This step helps to optimize plant growth, ensure you get the best colours from your plants and extend plant life. Healthy soil also looks and smells good!
Do Your Homework on New Flowers and Shrubs for Your Garden
When purchasing plants for your garden, don’t just buy randomly or go by what’s there at the moment, these decisions need to start at home with research. Your garden is a canvas and you want to create a visual on this canvas that you can appreciate and that fits with the overall theme of your backyard space. The following are key points to consider when you’re picking plants:
- The climate in which you live;
- The direction of your garden (i.e., north or south facing);
- The amount of work you’re willing to put into maintaining your garden;
- And the type of soil you have.
For more information on the above points, as well as other gardening tips, click here!
Check the Health of Older Plants
With older plants that are already established in your garden, make sure to show them some TLC this spring. Prune the sections that need trimming and examine them for any winter damage, like frosting.
Staying active is an essential part of maintaining your overall health. Of course, we cannot discount the importance of other factors, like adequate rest and correct diet, but maintaining an active lifestyle is essential. Unfortunately, when physical ailments and the stresses of life come into play, many of us aren’t able to find the time or energy to exercise. Here are three pieces of advice on how to utilize your hot tub to achieve your fitness goals!
Take Advantage of Hydrotherapy
In simple terms, hydrotherapy is the use of water to reduce body pain and address other physical ailments. At Canadian Home Leisure, our spas utilize warm water and high-powered jets to create an optimal hydrotherapy environment for the user. These thermal and mechanical effects work to increase blood circulation and achieve a feeling of mental and physical relaxation and reduce pain sensation in the body.
Here are examples of how the benefits of hydrotherapy carry over into your daily life. If issues such as joint pain are preventing you from being active, hydrotherapy helps to reduce that pain and enables you to exercise pain-free. Hydrotherapy also shortens the recovery time from intense physical activity, allowing you to get active again a shorter time-span.
Use a Hot Tub as Motivation
Are you striving to achieve a personal fitness goal but finding it difficult to muster the motivation to exercise? A soak in the hot tub makes a great reward for completing your required tasks. For instance, if you go for a jog, bike ride or visit an aerobics class, reward yourself with an evening soak in your home spa! This concept doesn’t have to be limited to fitness goals either. If you had a very successful presentation at work, reward yourself by unwinding in your hot tub.
Perform Low Impact Exercises
One aspect of performing exercises in the water, opposed to land, is the buoyancy that the water provides. Higher buoyancy means less pressure being placed on your joints from your body weight. This is especially effective for those with health issues, such as Arthritis. Your muscles will still be engaged from the resistance provided by the water.
If you’ll be using your hot tub for exercise purposes, it’s important to adjust the temperature accordingly. A healthy temperature range for a hot tub, being used for physical exercise, is 33 to 37 degrees Celsius.